Clans have been gathering in the summertime since time began. These events can be a strange mixture of reconnecting, reminiscing and regret that can sometimes bring on a sort of bewildering vertigo.
The vertigo results from being suddenly flung backward in time into one's ungainly 12-year old self, and when the time travel trigger is one of your first true loves, the journey is a cocktail party backseat joyride to some long-ago half-remembered dreamtime.
(Fade to soft-focus)
Summer 1970. Hot and dry, a Kootenay* sort of summer. A summer where nothing ever happens and everything could.
She is twelve and not entirely convinced the world holds promise. He, fourteen - rangy and gifted.
What else is happening in 1970? The demise of the Beatles. The Exorcist. Led Zeppelin. The FLQ Crisis. Fortrel.
Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.
Two times he asks: Remember when?
Cannot navigate from now to then with grace
Lacks the adult poise.
Has no polished way to call the past; put voice to distance
Can only stand barefoot, awkward
Stubborn twelve year old
On a red sand beach
A boy. A girl. A beach. A kiss.
A short story. But sweet.
What’s your short, sweet summertime story from way back?
*The Kootenays are an astonishingly beautiful part of southeastern British Columbia, Canada.